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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 42, Iss. 16 — Jun. 1, 2003
  • pp: 3009–3017

Techniques for fast and sensitive measurements of two-dimensional birefringence distributions

Michael Shribak and Rudolf Oldenbourg  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 42, Issue 16, pp. 3009-3017 (2003)

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We propose image processing algorithms for measuring two-dimensional distributions of linear birefringence using a pair of variable retarders. Several algorithms that use between two and five recorded frames allow us to optimize measurements for speed, sensitivity, and accuracy. We show images of asters, which consist of radial arrays of microtubule polymers recorded with a polarized light microscope equipped with a universal compensator. Our experimental results confirm our theoretical expectations. The lowest noise level of 0.036 nm was obtained when we used the five-frame technique and four-frame algorithm without extinction setting. The two-frame technique allows us to increase the speed of measurement with acceptable image quality.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5410) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Polarimetry
(170.1530) Medical optics and biotechnology : Cell analysis
(180.0180) Microscopy : Microscopy
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence
(260.2130) Physical optics : Ellipsometry and polarimetry
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

Original Manuscript: September 1, 2002
Revised Manuscript: January 10, 2003
Published: June 1, 2003

Michael Shribak and Rudolf Oldenbourg, "Techniques for fast and sensitive measurements of two-dimensional birefringence distributions," Appl. Opt. 42, 3009-3017 (2003)

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